Experiencing our nation through its environments, animals, people and history.

Galatians 5:1

Friday, July 31, 2009


My hospital experience.......

This is me , right before my surgery. I got to wear a poofy hat, and get pushed around in a bed and a wheelchair. the hospital people put a "IV" thingamajiggle in my arm that pumped fluids into me.
The room that I was in had seagulls painted on the wall, thats kinda why I am calling this blog that. I couldnt figure out what else to call it.

This is the IV.

The now appendix-less Shayna (me!!), Sargent Waddles, JJ, and Josiah in the hospital.

These are the breather balls that I had to breathe in to help me not get pnemonia. On the first day I only got the first one to go up a little bit! Now I can get all three of them up very fast.

Daddy, JJ and Josiah went to a little store and found me an awesome stuffed animal COW!!!!!!! And they brought me shells and white cheddar.

Whoopie doo!! I'm free!! I got to keep a lot of hospital stuff, including Carolina blue socks, a giant water bottle, and the breather balls. And now, I'm off to see some real seagulls!! ~Shayna

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

That's my girl

Here's me and Shayna, before her surgery on Saturday. It's now- what, Tuesday? She's getting her color back and also her cheer, but we are both good and ready to be out of the hospital. At first, we thought the electronic beds were cool. Now, I'm dreaming of sleep numbers...

It's been an excrutiating experience watching my first child go through surgery and wait out this time in the hospital. Though appendectimies (sp?) are quite common and occur in 5% of the population, all ages- it was far from common to have a Kaler grace the doorstep of an ER. Shayna has not been to a hospital since her birth, and the only other times for the family have been for a few minor scrapes with Josiah. We have been blessed in that respect.

But enough is enough. The staff's accents are sounding normal and JJ is starting to say Yes, Ma'am. I think its time we take my baby out under the Carolina blue sky, what do you think??! I thank everyone for rallying around us, the support and prayers have been well felt. Shayna had her toughest day yesterday, not able to cough, and she was in tears all afternoon. Today she is much better. Perhaps she will feel up to telling her own story soon!

My next blog will be of the scenery and fun we did have around here... it hasn't been all bad!! Life on the road must go on, and I think I have a comp exam calling my name. (My professors have been very understanding, by the way!) Meanwhile the fever is staying under 100 and a good nationwide rally might get us outa here today. Goooooooo team!!!

HUGS -Cheryl

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Carolina Blues...

Well I'll save the bulk of the story for Shayna later, but to make a long story short we came to the Carolina coast this weekend and ended up in the ER instead. Here is Shayna after her emergency surgery, with Sargeant Waddles pushing her in the "limo"

The boys playing with the electrical hospital bed...

And sending some love from the beach.

We are currently camped out at Carteret General Hospital in Morehead Beach, North Carolina. The staff have been wonderful. It was quite a twilight zone experience, first of all being in the ER and then everyone having this thick southern drawl. We are waiting for Shayna's fever to break before she can be released...

Thanks for the prayers! More soon! -C

Visiting Gally

Bless my soul!! Right when I was really starting to get home sick, I got a visit from Debbie, friend and coworker from Seattle. Here is our quick little tour!!

The view of the school from Florida Ave.
Chapel Hall

Thomas Gallaudet "friend, teacher, benefactor"

(Josiah's photography) in the middle of the campus by Edward Minor Gallaudet, first president. Thanks for the visit Debbie!! Your timing couldn't have been more perfect. HUGS!! -C

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More Ripken

(Josiah) That's me on the slip and slide. It was fun and I did it for like an hour. We got to do this for fun on the last day of camp. The other video is me doing quick bat with coach Tre. I was pretty good at this drill. I got third place for my group in this drill. I liked it a lot.

(From JJ) Every afternoon we played a game. On the top i'm just striking out on a 3 and 2 count. Notice where the pitch is when I swing at it. The next video I'm coming back into the dugout and Cal says "Good job. Nobody likes to walk. I'm glad you swung at that."

In the video above I hit a blooper in between the pitcher and short stop. The short stop makes a good barehanded play and throws me out at first.

In this video the batter hits it right back to me and I get the out after I bobble it a little. Dad didn't do a very good job of filming. Sorry.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ripken Camp

First of all, we had first rate accomodations for the week. Winnie on a branch of the Chesapeake Bay. Sorry Gran, I told you wrong. It was not the Susquhana River.This was the view from Winnie. Our map is starting to fill up. We were able to add Maryland and Delaware on this trip. We went to a minor league game one night in Delaware.

We'll start with Josiah's week of camp. He loved the camp, got Cal's autograph and got better at all the skills. Especially hitting! Here he is ripping one during batting practice. They used the jugs lite flight balls.

Game time for Jo (below).Josiah's Team. The kid right behind Josiah is the son of Sean Casey. A former Major Leaguer. He was a very nice guy. His son could really play too.
Josiah doing his pre-swing routine. Pretty cute. Should have video taped it for you all but didn't think of it.
Josiah in the Home Run Derby.
Josiah got to do the "Rookie Camp" like JJ did last summer. This year JJ got to go with the big boys.
JJ's Camp
One of the things that makes this camp unique is the opportunity to get instruction from a Hall of Fame player. Cal is very gracious with his time, energy and funds. The facility is amazing and he gives a lot of his time and energy to the kids. JJ is somewhere in this group. This group is some of the players that consider middle infield their primary position. So JJ traveled with this group which includes teenagers to morning stations. Many of the teens were impressed with JJ! Below is Bob. He is pretty tough and knows how to take one for the team. In this drill players try to hit Bob. Pretty fun. JJ got to play Short Stop the first inning of the first game. They got to play their first game on Cal Seniors Yard. It's a big Little League aged park.
JJ pitched a perfect inning at Wrigley on Wednesday. Notice the ivey on the outfield fence? (Above) This was the most action JJ got all week in the games. In the 4 games JJ only got 4 fielding opportunities. The ball just did not find him. Baseball is funny like that.

Glove side relay drill, JJ is in the middle.
Cal and Cal above. The boy on the left was named after Cal Ripken. JJ is out there at Short Stop again. I tried to get a good action shot but couldn't time it right.

Below: JJ is batting with Cal looking on.

Cal really wanted the kids to learn the crossover step and JJ is always willing to demonstrate. (Above)

JJ did the crossover drill over and over again and never made a mistake. At one point Cal pointed to him and said something to the guy in blue. The next time JJ came through and made the play again, Cal called him over and talked to him (above) and told him he had a good crossover step. He also asked JJ his name and age and said good job! Sorry the shot isn't any closer. Didn't have time to zoom in.
Below is a some video of JJ hitting.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

DC fountains

So say you want to come visit us in DC, and say its starting to get really hot (like last week.) Well we figured out the best way to walk around and see the sights in the heat.
First of all, you stop at a fountain and think about splashing your friends.
Then you let mom carry around a really big Sweet Tea, and drink some of it (even if its gross).

And then you stop at the next fountain (in front of the capital) and throw in some coins. And then, you splash your friends.

Then you go to the reflecting pool and decide to see how deep it is. And you splash your mom.

And then , you really don't care about anything except the next fountain. (This one is across from the National Archives building). Finally, you go inside the Natural History museum in the AC!! And take the metro home.
Thanks for visiting Katja! Say hi to Seattle for us!!! -Cheryl and Shayna

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More ducklings!!

The duckling population has increased! 4 more ducklings have appeared, and joined the 8 other fuzzy occupants of the pool. The mother is very protective of her babies, and chases away any others that come too close. Fortunately, we have our camera back, so you can actually see their fuzzy cuteness! We hope you enjoy these pictures!! ~Shayna